The Carlton Football Club is one of the traditional powerhouse teams in Australian footy. The Blues have won 16 VFL/AFL premierships – a record matched only by Essendon.
The last two decades or so have not been especially kind to Carlton. A series of salary cap breaches caught up with the club in 2002, sinking an already-struggling team into serious strife both on and off the field. Some ill-advised personnel changes have not helped (read Mick Malthouse), nor the emergence of the Gold Coast Suns and GWS Giants.
Things went from bad to worse in 2018 as the Blues finished bottom of the ladder with only two wins for the season. But with new recruits coming in and young guns such as Patrick Cripps and Charlie Curnow committed for the foreseeable future, not all hope is lost.
How far can the Blues go in the 2019 AFL Premiership season? Let’s see what the bookies have to say.
About the Carlton Football Club
|Home ground:||Melbourne Cricket Ground|
|Captains:||Patrick Cripps and Sam Docherty|
|Premierships:||16 – 1906, 1907, 1908, 1914, 1915, 1938, 1945, 1947, 1968, 1970, 1972, 1979, 1981, 1982, 1987, 1995|
|2018 ladder finish:||18th|
Best bookmakers for Carlton Blues betting
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Updated Carlton futures odds
Latest AFL futures for Carlton come courtesy of Sportsbet, where new customers can score up to $501 in bonus bets upon joining. Sign up now for free.
|2019 Premiership||Make Finals||Wooden Spoon||Brownlow Odds||Rising Star Odds||Coleman Odds|
|Jan||$151||$8||$3.50||P Cripps $12||–||C Curnow $34|
|Feb||$151||$26||$3.75||P Cripps $9||S Walsh $6||C Curnow $41|
|Mar||$151||$11||$4.50||P Cripps $7.50||S Walsh $3||C Curnow $41|
|Apr||$501||$34||$1.60||P Cripps $5||S Walsh $1.70||C Curnow $81|
Best Carlton bets for the 2019 AFL season
There are dozens of AFL futures markets for Carlton, but where are they likely to return some real value?
Click on the tabs below to get more analysis on these markets:
- Stranger things have happened, but not bloody often. The Blues are a team in transition and have a long, long way to go before they can be considered even an outside chance of winning their first flag since 1995. To paraphrase Obi Wan Kenobi, this is not the bet you are looking for.
- With Sam Docherty set to spend another season on the sidelines, Carlton’s chances of mounting a raid on the top eight look slim indeed. The question is whether they are good enough to climb a few rungs up the ladder in his extended absence. Gold Coast will start the year with one hand already on the wooden spoon, but the Blues might not be far away by season’s end.
- Received wisdom says Carlton will have to make finals to have any kind of presence at the Brownlow Medal count, yet Patrick Cripps racked up 20 votes last year despite playing in only two wins. Imagine what he might poll if the Blues win three or four games this year…
- As you might expect from a team at the wrong end of the ladder, Carlton have a few promising runners for the AFL Rising Star this year. Top draft pick Sam Walsh is the overall favourite and former GWS prospect Will Setterfield is also rated a very good chance.
- Goalkicking remains the glaring weakness in a Carlton side that finished dead last in 2018. Charlie Curnow is the great white hope in the forward 50, while Blues tragics will hope former Adelaide star Mitch McGovern can also make an impact on the scoreboard.
Carlton 2019 AFL fixture
|1||Richmond Tigers||MCG||Thursday, March 21||7:20pm AEDT|
|2||Port Adelaide Power||Adelaide Oval||Saturday, March 30||4:40pm ACDT|
|3||Sydney Swans||SCG||Friday, April 7||1:45pm AEDT|
|4||Gold Coast Suns||Metricon Stadium||Sunday, April 14||2:40pm AEST|
|5||Western Bulldogs||Marvel Stadium||Sunday, April 21||1:10pm AEST|
|6||Hawthorn Hawks||UTAS Stadium||Sunday, April 28||3:20pm AEST|
|7||North Melbourne Kangaroos||Marvel Stadium||Sunday, May 5||1:10pm AEST|
|8||Collingwood Magpies||MCG||Saturday, May 11||1:45pm AEST|
|9||GWS Giants||Sydney Showground||Sunday, May 19||4:40pm AEST|
|10||St Kilda Saints||Marvel Stadium||Sunday, May 26||3:20pm AEST|
|11||Essendon Bombers||MCG||Sunday, June 2||3:20pm AEST|
|12||Brisbane Lions||Marvel Stadium||Saturday, June 8||1:45pm AEST|
|13||Western Bulldogs||Marvel Stadium||Saturday, June 15||7:25pm AEST|
|15||Fremantle Dockers||Optus Stadium||Sunday, June 30||3:20pm AWST|
|16||Melbourne Demons||MCG||Sunday, July 7||1:10pm AEST|
|17||Sydney Swans||SCG||Saturday, July 13||1:45pm AEST|
|18||Gold Coast Suns||Marvel Stadium||Saturday, July 20||2:10pm AEST|
|19||Adelaide Crows||Marvel Stadium||Saturday, July 27||2:10pm AEST|
|20||West Coast Eagles||Marvel Stadium||Sunday, August 4||3:20pm AEST|
|21||Richmond Tigers||MCG||Sunday, August 11||3:20pm AEST|
|22||St Kilda Saints||MCG||Saturday, August 17||1:45pm AEST|
|23||Geelong Cats||GMHBA Stadium||TBD||TBD|
Blues players to watch in 2019
The burden of captaincy has ruined many a young gun at this level, but Cripps looks like a natural fit for the role. Expect more of the same prolific ball-winning and relentless clearance work that has made this guy a must-have in AFL fantasy teams.
Is this the year Curnow announces himself as one of the best big forwards in the competition? The ability and athleticism are there for all to see, so the question is when, and not if, the Geelong Falcons product steps up into that elite bracket of AFL goalkickers.
Of all the new arrivals at Princes Park, nobody has captured the imagination quite like Walsh. Top picks in the national draft always come with hype, but this kid looks a readymade star who will add bags of class to Carlton’s emerging midfield.
Carlton records, stats and history
- Most matches: 375 – Craig Bradley (1986-2002)
Most career goals: 738 – Stephen Kernahan (1986-1997)
Most goals in a season: 115 – Alex Jesaulenko (1970)
Most goals in a match: 13 – Horrie Clover (vs. St Kilda, 1921)
Best and fairest awards: 5 – John Nicholls (1959, 1963, 1965, 1966, 1967)
- Most wins in a season: 20 (1995)
Most consecutive wins: 18 (1995-96)
Highest score in a match: 30.30.210 (vs. Hawthorn, 1969)
Highest winning margin: 140 (vs. St Kilda, 1985)
Highest home attendance: 91, 571 (vs. Essendon, 2000)
- The Carlton Football Club was founded in 1864 and soon emerged as one of the powerhouse teams on the Melbourne footy scene. It was a founding member of the Victorian Football Association and won the inaugural premiership in 1877. That success was fleeting, however, and the Blues were among the weakest teams around when the Victorian Football League commenced in 1897.
Fortunes changed when Jack Worall was elected as club secretary in 1902. The former Test cricketer took an unprecedented hands-on approach with the playing group and led the Blues to three consecutive premierships from 1906 to ’08. Worrall is now widely regarded as the first-ever coach – and one of the greatest – in Aussie rules football.
The first 15 years of the 20th century were among the most successful in Carlton’s history. Whereas other teams ceased operations during the height of hostilities in Europe, the Blues carried on. They won the 1914 and 1915 flags for a total of five in the space of 10 years.
Although the years between the wars were light on premiership titles, Carlton remained one of the most competitive and popular teams in the VFL. It was during that time that two of the club’s first superstars emerged: Horrie Clover and ‘Soapy’ Vallence, who kicked over 1100 goals between them.
As the ’40s faded, so too did Carlton’s on-field presence. The team reached finals only four times between 1950 and 1964, when a boardroom shuffle led to one of the most famous acquisitions in Australian sporting history.
Ron Barassi had already played in six premierships for Melbourne when the Blues appointed him as captain-coach for the ’65 season. He led them to three consecutive VFL Grand Finals for two famous wins: against Essendon in 1968 and over Collingwood in the storied 1970 decider. This era produced some of the club’s greatest-ever players, including John Nicholls, Alex Jesaulenko, Robert Walls and Sergio Silvagni.
The rest of the ’70s are best remembered for near-misses and a revolving door of coaches. Happy days returned in the 1979 title match against the Pies, when Wayne Harmes teed up Ken Sheldon for one of the most famous goals in VFL history. They carried that form into the 1980s, winning flags in ’81, ’82 and ’87 to become the most successful club in Victoria.
The 1990s were tumultuous for a number of reasons. The arrival of a national competition also heralded the dismantling of traditional recruitment zones, meaning Carlton no longer had first dibs on top talents from the strong country leagues of Bendigo and the Victorian Goldfields. They won the 1995 premiership in between grand final defeats in ’93 and ’99, but that period was dogged by a culture of salary cap breaches and backroom dealings that culminated in severe penalties in 2002.
The Blues have never been the same since. Former captain Brett Ratten had them heading in the right direction and until the board replaced him with Mick Malthouse in 2012. That move proved disastrous at a time when the top draft picks were reserved for expansion clubs in Gold Coast and Sydney. Brendon Bolton took over as head coach in 2015 and began the slow, painful process of rebuilding a club from rock bottom.
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